Q: I am on regular Medicare and have maintained my BC/BS family coverage through FEHBP for a monthly cost of $510 or so.
Would I not be better off getting a Medicare supplement policy that would not cost anywhere near as much as my FEHBP premium? Do many federal retirees make this choice? I had thought it wise to maintain FEHBP, and will until my wife catches up with me and goes on Medicare, but due to these costs I wonder.
A: If I read you correctly, you are considering dropping FEHB coverage and buying supplemental Medicare coverage before your wife goes on Medicare. If so, I hope that she has health benefit coverage elsewhere, otherwise you’d be leaving her out in the cold. As for whether buying a supplemental policy would be a good option, you can’t rely on cost as the sole measure. You need to compare the coverage it would provide along with out-of-pocket costs. And if, and it’s a big if, you drop your FEHB coverage, you can’t re-enroll as a retiree.